Senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut on Friday accused the BJP of attempting to rule Maharashtra under the guise of Presidents Rule.
Despite being the single largest party, if you (Bharatiya Janata Party) dont form the government and instead, rule the State under the guise of Presidents Rule, it is wrong, unconstitutional and an insult to Maharashtra, he told reporters here. Later in the day, Mr. Raut visited NCP chief Sharad Pawars residence.
Mr. Raut has kept up the offensive against ally BJP over the sharing of Chief Ministers post. He has held several press conferences since the Assembly election results while party leader Uddhav Thackeray had refrained from talking directly to the media, until Friday.
In a press conference on Friday morning, Mr. Raut had said Shiv Sena is firm on its demand of equal sharing of CMs post. When asked about Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari possibly intervening to end the deadlock, Mr. Raut said, There is no need for intervention. They should bring a written proposal for equal sharing of the CM post. If Gadkariji has such a proposal, I will convey it to Uddhavji.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena will be moving its party MLAs to a resort in Madh island. The party has written to Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Barve to provide security at the resort until November 15.
Speaking about the Congress moving all its MLAs to Jaipur, Mr. Raut said, If there are concerns of horse-trading, it is a challenge to Maharashtra and to the PMs dream of clean and transparent governance.
Mr. Raut had tweeted a couplet by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Elaborating on it, he said, We (Sena) will not leave the battleground, we are fighters. This is our Maharashtra. Why is there fear (of horse-trading)? No matter what pattern you use here, it wont work, we (all Sena MLAs) are together.
When asked why the Shiv Sena was not reaching out to the BJP, he retorted, Why should we? Even Amit Shah knows what was agreed upon (equal sharing of CM post).
He said Shiv Sena leaders would meet the Governor again as he was now guardian of the State but it is the single largest party that needs to stake claim to government formation first.
There is a conspiracy to form an interim government and rule under the guise of Presidents rule (as caretaker CM). That will be an insult to the mandate given by the people, said Mr. Raut.
Mr. Raut met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at the latters residence in Mumbai on Friday. The meeting was on while senior BJP leaders, including Mr. Fadnavis, were addressing a press conference over the deadlock. After the meeting, Mr. Raut is said to have told reporters, I am more concerned about this caretaker CM. If BJP can form government, good luck to them.